Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Good & The Bad

  • I've lost 5 more lbs bringing my total to 30. I'm counting from my last homestudy physical which was in March. So while it's been a slow and steady loss... I'm happy to be getting smaller. Just this week I've started trying a little harder in anticipation of this child who will undoubtedly kick my ass if I don't get in better shape.
  • I sold all my bedroom furniture on Craigsl1st in less than 24 hours! Because I spontaneously bought new bedroom furniture and decided to completely redecorate the room.... cuz I really got nothing else going on right now, right? LOL!
  • My BFF revealed she has secretly been planning a baby shower for me. Can I just tell you how happy and excited this makes me?! Because for decades I've been attending other people's showers and now I'll finally get to have one of My Own. Yay!
  • I've been making my own packing list and feeling very confident, organized and in control.
  • Based on the pattern of dates referred over the last 12 months, I'm expecting my referral to come in March or April. And it's the end of January already. :)
  • The diet sucks. No really. I just started a very restrictive "buy your food from them" kind of thing. And most of the food so far is absolutely gag-a-licous. But that 5 lbs was actually in 3 days ...so I'm suffering through it. Can't wait to see what the actual total will be after the end of the first week.
  • Oh and 30 lbs lost ...is still 60 lbs more than my first homestudy physical in 2006. Fuck you very much China. Your now 5 year long IA program is not so good for a compulsive emotional eater.
  • My NEW bedroom furniture will be delivered sometime between ...oh the end of February to maybe April. I had no idea the old stuff would sell so quickly. So now I'll be living like a college kid sleeping on a mattress on the floor and getting dressed out of a cardboard box. Oh well.
  • My BFF is planning a baby shower with no input from me. Which in the end will be absolutely wonderful ... but right now is making me "the control freak" practically hyperventilate.
  • I've been making my own packing list and feeling scared shitless and completely overwhelmed.
  • We've not had even a rumor yet for the next cut off date. Today is January 25th. Almost the end of the month. And China seems to be putting more time in between when they're sending out batches. Which means while I should be able to predict a referral and it should be within the next couple of months. The reality is that I have no friggin idea when I'll see my daughter's face.
  • Oh and that song by the Dixie Chicks came on the radio today while I was driving. The lullaby one that goes "they didn't have you where I come from... how long do you want to be loved... is forever enough?" Yeah that one. And it made me cry.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Packing Lists

As I move closer and closer to referral I decided it was time to stop putting off the inevitable. So I recently dove head first into the complex world of "Packing Lists". Gasp... scary stuff.

I was quickly overwhelmed. But then I took a deep breath and started to realize... most of them are the same.

Of course, there are many opinions from those that have gone before as to what's important to take and what's not. What surprised me most were the wide variations of those opinions. What was indispensable to one person may have never even been used by someone else.

Which just means I have to take all of it. Everything. Just to be on the safe side. Ugh!

So I've made my own list. That's right. There's a document now saved on my computer that I authored and titled "My China Packing List". Big smile :) It's ginormous though. But I'll be whittling it down over the next couple months.Oh and even though it's ginormous.... I have no clothing on the list yet. Now that doesn't mean I plan to go to China naked. But I need to know when I'll go to China and where I'll be. How else will I know what weather to pack for? But I'm pretty sure I'll be there in the spring. April or May is my guess. So I'll start my clothing plan there.

And clothing for Mia? Well, let's just say I have to decide what NOT to pack. Cuz baby clothes are so dang cute. How will I ever decide?

Feel free to weigh in with your own opinions. I'd love to hear them. What could you not live without? What did you wish you'd left at home? And anyone who traveled in April or May... can you give me an idea of what kind of temperatures to expect? I know it depends on province, too. But what was your experience?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Honoring a Hero

For those who know the real me on Faceb00k and have seen my posts there all week, you know that one of our local police officers was killed in the line of duty on new year's day. Although she worked for a different jurisdiction, our local law enforcement community is very close knit. It was a deeply felt loss for all of us. But it always is. Police work is just that way. When you choose this career, you're choosing to step into a very large family that stretches worldwide. And although we realize the risks we face in this job... it's still so hard to lose someone.Her death has affected me more than I ever imagined it would. I've struggled this week with a lot of overwhelming emotions. It caused memories to resurface of Jake and how hard it was to lose him. I bury all of that deep in the vault and only really allow myself to feel it on the anniversary of his murder. But this week those memories were forced out.

I also think it affected me more than other losses because the deputy was female. I can't really explain why that makes a difference. I guess maybe because I can relate to it more because of that shared experience. We were also the same age. I think seeing myself in the mirror of her has made me think a great deal of my own mortality.... when I don't really think about it anymore. I mean, I know that far too many police officers are killed in the line of duty. I know I also face that risk. But I don't really THINK about it anymore. This week I did. A lot.

She was also a mother. That may have been what hit me the hardest. I've always done this job with just me in mind. Just me. I know that if I had to lay down my life in the course of doing my job, my family and friends would mourn the loss of me. My community would mourn the loss of me. And that would be difficult. I would never ever wish that on them. But I was okay with the risk. I had come to terms with it. Because it was just me I was risking. But as I move into motherhood.... it's not just me anymore. And it was very very VERY hard for me to process all the feelings that came this week with the thoughts of my own mortality as it relates to this new chapter in my life as a mother.

The outpouring of support from the community has been awe inspiring. There were over 1600 law enforcement and fire vehicles that participated. This is the staging point prior to the processional taken from a news helicopter. And it just shows a portion of the parking lot. The processional was over 2 miles long and took nearly 2 hours just to clear the parking lot. There were police officers, firefighters, emergency workers and some military as well. They came from all over the country. Even a few from Canada attended the deputy's funeral.

On new year's day, after the deputy was shot and killed, a news crew was on scene when a massive gun battle took place between the responding officers and the suspect. During that, another police officer was shot. The cameraman caught it all on tape. The video went viral and got national media coverage. I think because of that... more police agencies were aware of her death and so, therefore, more officers were drawn to attend. It was definitely one of the biggest funerals most of us had ever seen or heard of.Thankfully, the other officer who was wounded survived his injuries. He's already been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. He also attended the funeral.

Everything about that day was amazing, touching and heartbreaking all at once. The long line of the processional, the citizens standing along the route in 20 degree weather to pay their respects, the fly over by the state patrol helicopters, the 21 gun salute, the over 150 pipers and drummers who played. The majesty and ceremony involved in a funeral for a police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty is a sight to behold. But one I hope I don't ever see again. If only we could all be that lucky.

All of the above images were taken by a photojournalist from our local newspaper. Except the one below. It was taken by a fellow police officer as he walked to the small country cemetery where the deputy was laid to rest. He said this line of police officers stretched for at least a half a mile. It makes me so proud to have chosen this career. The world lost a good one this week. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fellow officers as they now learn how to live without her. I'll do my best to honor her and all the others gone before her every day that I wear this badge. Rest in peace, Suzanne. You've earned your place in Heaven. We'll take it from here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year's Eve

I decided to spend New Year's Eve with the T's this year as part of my plan to spend as much time with them as I can before Mia comes home. Tatum bailed on us in lieu of spending the night with her BFF. She suggested we have a "boys night" since she'd just spent the night a couple weeks ago. Truth of the matter is... BFF's family was going skating and she thought that sounded more fun. LOL! Tess didn't stay either. But just cuz she's 2 and couldn't hang until midnight. She left with her mom and dad for Thai take out and a quiet evening being the center of attention. I made sure to send her home with party favors. I mean every girl has to have a Happy New Year tiara, right? I love her furrowed brow of concentration trying to blow this thing.A shot of me, Teagan, Travis and Griffey taken by Tanner. We had a chill evening in our pj's just chowing on pizza and watching movies until the ball dropped.
Teagan and Travis were especially fascinated by the whole Times Square party and the ball drop. I had to pull out the laptop to look up the answers to their questions about the ball...how big is it, what's it made of, what do they do with it after it comes down, etc. We looked at a street map of Manhattan so they could see how far the Empire State Building was from the Square. And they wanted to know how tall the ESB was. What did we ever do without G00gle?

Tanner seems to give the stink eye often these days when it comes to picture taking. It's hard to get a decent shot of him.They all thought it was pretty cool to toast the new year at midnight. Teagan especially got a kick out of clinking the fancy glasses. It was cute. He made me rewind the ball drop so he could count it down again and do the glass clinking a second time. 5 year olds are fun.
Griffey, however, was over all the fun and excitement and just wanted to go to bed.
It was a great night and a fun way to ring in the new year. And it's a memory the boys will have forever. Although it's a few days late now, Happy New Year! I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store. I have a feeling it's gonna be the best year of my life!!! :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christmas Re-cap

The day was spent at my sister's house with the whole family. This is the dress and boots I got for Tatum for her birthday. Tess got a pair by default. Just cuz I thought they'd look adorable together. And I was right.
Braeden and Travis
Teagan and Braeden

Tanner and his dad
The bigger Travis, Carla and our sister-in-law Kristy

I got the kids Just Dance for the Wii. It was quite amusing watching them rock out their mad dance skills. Aunt Kristy got in on the action. So funny.

Check out this girl's crazy curls. I love her hair. Hope she doesn't lose the curls as she grows up.
It was a good day. But I have to admit... I'm glad it's over. I know it's not wise to wish away time but I just can't wait until next year.